Bulls residents are being assured their drinking water is safe – despite having low levels of PFAS chemicals. Photo/ file

Tests show Bulls’ drinking water is safe – its level of PFAS chemicals is well below New Zealand guidelines, Rangitikei District Council chief executive Ross McNeil says.

He was pleased with the results of recent tests.

New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) experts tested the town’s water supply for PFAS compounds after groundwater at properties neighbouring the Ohakea Air Force Base was found to be contaminated.

Water samples were taken from the town supply network and each of the five groundwater bores supplying Bulls.

“Results indicated the presence of PFAS in four of the five bores and in the supply network, but at levels well below threshold level in the New Zealand Drinking Water Guidelines,” Mr McNeil said.

The Ministry of Health has said there should be no health concerns for Bulls residents given the very low levels found in the water, and no reason for residents not to continue using it.

PFAS chemicals are known to travel some distance in groundwater, and Mr McNeil said investigations were under way to determine the likely source of those chemicals in the groundwater in Bulls.

The Bulls water supply is being retested, as NZDF has done with all its testing for PFAS. Samples were collected last week and results are expected in about a month.

Sanson’s water supply has been tested and was free of PFAS.

PFAS are a class of man-made chemicals widely used since the 1950s for products including firefighting foams used at airports and other fire training sites.

Most people are exposed to very small traces of PFAS throughout their lives, because it is used in everyday items, especially things with oil and water resistant coatings. There is no evidence that low levels of exposure cause harmful health effects.

For more information about PFAS, visit www.mfe.govt.nz/pfas

Source: Wanganui Chronicle

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